Vicky Newham

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh – review

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I Let You Go begins with a hit-and-run, a crime which is investigated by DI Ray Stevens and his team. The novel is part police procedural and part psychological thriller, with chapters alternating between these two aspects for most of the book. This structure provides suspense and the author keeps the pace going effectively throughout. I enjoyed the investigation element as it was written convincingly, with context about pressures in the service woven deftly into the story so that the reader sees how these affect investigations. I am not keen on crime novels which are gratuitously violent, and felt that this element was handled extremely well, sometimes alluded to and sometimes shown on the page: a good balance. Certain crime tropes were evident whilst others, refreshingly, were flipped. Ray’s relationship with his wife made me curious and the situation with their son added complexity to their home life and layers to their characterisation. I was aware of holding my breath at certain turning points in their exchanges. The female protagonist, Jenna, comes across sympathetically although the reader isn’t always sure what she may have done, let alone why. The author handles the sensitive topics extremely well. I like to understand why people behave in the way they do and the author provides enough to satisfy in this respect whilst also allowing the reader to make up their own mind about motivations. I Let You Go is a polished, compelling read. I look forward to seeing what the author has in store for DI Stevens if there are more to come with him.

Author: Vicky Newham

Vicky Newham is a writer, living in Whitstable, Kent. She writes crime fiction, psychological thrillers and science fiction. Her main projects are novels, but she also writes short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction articles and some poetry.

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